College kicks up schedule

Teresa Datar

LMC is gearing up to add more courses starting with the Spring Forward campaign of late-start spring courses leading into the summer session, and following up with increases to the fall 2013 and spring 2014 schedules. Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Kevin Horan sent out an email to department heads discussing the increase of course offerings.

“We will likely be increasing our summer schedule back to similar size in 2009,” said Horan in the email. “We will be increasing the number of sections offered by approximately 40 percent compared to what was offered in Summer 2012.”

The ability to add classes is something unusual for LMC with recent years, budgets being trimmed back, due to the poor economy. LMC President Bob Kratochvil elaborates on the reasons that lead to the ability to grow.

“We got some… growth money for the district two-percent growth money,” said Kratochvil. “From the economic stand point… the information we get from Sacramento it looks like it could continue or even increase next year as well, so the projections are pretty good.”

However, the growth we are experiencing is just making up for lost sections cut over the last few years.

“Prop. 30 by no means will restore California community colleges to their pre-recession levels. Recent budget cuts have shut nearly 500,000 students out of community colleges since the 2008-09 academic year, and course offerings have been slashed by 24 percent,” read a press release sent out by the state chancellor Brice Harris’s office on Nov. 7.

The passage of Prop 30 last November prevented massive budget restrictions and is responsible for the additional money that is allowing for the growth.

“With the passage of Prop. 30, community colleges will receive $210 million in additional funds for the 2012-13 academic year. Most of that money will be used to make good on deferred funding commitments by the state, but the measure will allow colleges to serve an additional 20,000 students this year,” read the press release.

If Prop 30 did not pass LMC would probably not have a summer term in the 2013 academic year.

“There was some discussion prior to the passage of Prop 30 as to what our options would be if Prop 30 did not pass. One of the options was to eliminate the summer term altogether. Fortunately, Prop 30 passed and we do not need to further explore that option,” said Horan.

The college gets funding by the number of full time equivalent students (FTES) enrolled and if LMC does not meet that base then LMC’s budgets will decrease. The base goal for the 2013-2014 academic year is 7,600 students. “In an effort to meet what we anticipate to be LMC’s FTES Goal in 2013-2014… plus what we anticipate to be available growth… we need to increase the size of our summer, fall & spring schedules. Our largest increase will be in the summer schedule,” said Horan.

Matt Palamos who is majoring in Aerospace Engineering is excited about the good news that will increase course options this summer and plans to take advantage of it by taking as many classes he is allowed.

“We totally should [add courses], I feel like the students need a variety of classes in summer, so there will be less strain on their schedule for fall and spring semesters,” said Palamos.

The Physical science department is one in which sections will be increasing. Currently LMC is offering six physical science courses, but with the increase two more sections are soon to be added.

Scott Cabral Astronomy instructor is pleased that LMC is adding more courses.

“I’d love to add a new astro course and we have a new part-timer who could teach it,” said Cabral.

Spring Forward is offering 28 new classes that are scheduled to begin the week of March 25 directly following spring break.

The late-start courses will take place over a nine-week session. Registration is now open, and students interested in taking advantage of this opportunity can find all offered courses on the LMC website www.losmedanos.edu/springforward.